Friday Fight Night: Kenshiro v. Goku

By AZRIEL OLMEDO

Photo made using FlamingText, a logo design and name generator (Azriel Olmedo / Ethic News).

Note: This match will refer to the entirety of the “Fist of the North Star” manga, as well as all forms of Goku from “Dragon Ball.” Some information could not be directly linked to an accessible source, as most of the evidence comes from the manga and the anime.

Martial arts has always been a popular genre for films, video games and television series. Ranging from Bruce Lee’s 1972 film “Way of the Dragon” to the modern “Street Fighter” game, the art of self defense has introduced many interesting and fan-favorite characters over the years. Two of the most dangerous characters that have mastered unique forms of martial arts originated from the popular Japanese manga series “Dragon Ball” and “Fist of the North Star.”

“Fist of the North Star” is set in a post-apocalyptic world. Kenshiro, the main protagonist, fights waves of clans composed of bandits and warlords to save his beloved wife, Yuria, who was abducted. The seven scars on his chest share the same pattern as the Big Dipper constellation. Kenshiro protects those who cannot protect themselves in a world overrun by hatred and despair.

On the other side of the ring, Goku grew up pure and good, having trained under the art of Kame Style. He was sent to Earth from Planet Vegeta, the home of the Saiyans. As a born Saiyan, Goku has enhanced strength, speed and durability. With a desire to train everyday, Goku uses his abilities and techniques to protect the Earth and his loved ones.

On multiple occasions, Goku has demonstrated a tendency to fight individuals with high power levels, no matter their alignment. Without a doubt, he would sense Kenshiro’s fighting spirit and be the first to throw a punch. 

Round #1: Techniques and Abilities

Hokuto Shinken, which translates to “Big Dipper God Fist,” is a devastating type of martial art that gives Kenshiro knowledge of his opponent’s pressure points, producing drastic after-effects. Some of these effects include but are not limited to: freezing the body, erasing memory, removing perception, preventing breathing and, most famously, instant combustion. 

Kenshiro is able to enclose his wounds as if nothing had damaged him. He can also fire a long range beam of energy towards his opponent, but this power is rarely used, as he prefers to fight at close range. During his first appearance in the manga, Kenshiro reveals that by mastering the art of Hokuto Shinken, he has discovered all “708 vital points of the human body.”

While it is an impressive feat, this information pertains to the human body specifically. However, this does not eliminate the possibility that Goku has these same vital points in his body. Flowing through Goku’s body are the teachings learned from both masters and foes. One of the most impressive tools in his arsenal is the Kaioken.

The Kaioken, which translates to “Fist of the World King,” was first introduced when Goku trained with King Kai, one of the five kings of the universe. As described by Goku, this life-risking technique is “an energy multiplier, which doubles his strength, speed and senses.” The multiplier can further be increased, but it will result in more strain on the body until the user is ultimately destroyed. The most recent use of Kaioken was seen in “Dragon Ball Super,” where Goku’s speed was raised so much that he could move through stopped time. 

Saiyans have a unique ability to transform into something beyond themselves: a Super Saiyan. With a strong feeling of anger, sadness or even pride, a Saiyan’s hair will first turn yellow to indicate their power has been significantly magnified. 

Note: There are many Super Saiyan forms, and these are their multipliers: Super Saiyan (x50), Super Saiyan Two (x100), Super Saiyan Three (x400), Super Saiyan God (x160,000) and Super Saiyan Blue (x8,000,000).

In the film “Dragon Ball Z: Battle of Gods,” Goku fights the God of Destruction Beerus while in his newfound Super Saiyan God form. The clash of their fists created shockwaves that traveled throughout the universe and Elder Kai himself noted that “people, planets, gods, even Goku and Beerus will be completely destroyed if they continue to fight.”

Round #2: Power

As a result of his training, Kenshiro had attained supernatural powers from the art that has been passed down from generation to generation for 2000 years. In the beginning, Kenshiro had revealed that “normal men could only use 30 percent of their strength,” but thanks to Hokuto Shinken, he is able to use 100 percent of it. 

In the manga, Kenshiro is able to throw punches at light speed and go unnoticed by his opponents. This was before he was able to break through the Hokuto Shinken seal within himself. In other words, he had unlocked even more potential and has become the embodiment of the many Hokuto Shinken masters that existed throughout the art’s 2000-year history. 

Kenshiro can withstand the crushing weight of a skyscraper falling on top of him and lift giant boulders to throw with ease. In terms of strength, Kenshiro was able to defeat his brother Jagi, who had endured a nuclear explosion big enough to be seen from space, very easily. His other brother Raoh, who was known for obliterating anyone to dust with just the tap of his finger, was also defeated by Kenshiro. 

According to ScienceAlert, the largest nuclear bomb ever tested was the Tsar Bomba, which was equivalent to the explosion of 50 megatons or roughly 50 million tons of TNT. Since Jagi survived an explosion much greater than that of a Tsar Bomba, one punch from Kenshiro deals much more harm than a Tsar Bomba explosion.

Massive explosions are common throughout the story of “Dragon Ball.” The series thrives on the idea that most of the characters have abilities that threaten the very planet they stand on. For instance, in “Dragon Ball Z” Piccolo once destroyed the moon and Vegeta effortlessly deflected a blast that resulted in an explosion that could be seen from the other side of the planet.

Round #3: Trump Cards

The Muso Tensei is the ultimate technique of a Hokuto Shinken master. It allows Kenshiro to embody his spiritual form, making him invulnerable to attacks. Kenshiro was able to unlock this power by experiencing a continuous cycle of sadness from the death of his closest comrades.

Similar to Hokuto Shinken’s variation, Goku had once tapped into a form that surpassed time itself: Ultra Instinct. During the Tournament of Power, a battle royale between all 12 universes, Goku was able to unlock this form three times. It is described as a technique that separates the conscious from the body, allowing it to move independently from the user’s own thoughts.

When Goku first unlocked Ultra Instinct he gained the respect of not only the kings of the 12 universes, but also the gods themselves as even they could never attain this power. Despite this, Goku was nearly killed when he reached his limit. Ever since, he hasn’t been able to tap into this form. 

Now that the final statistics have been given, the question can now be answered: who would win in a fight between Kenshiro and Goku? Both fighters are skilled in their own right, and both have a clear advantage over the other. If Goku can stay as far away from Kenshiro as possible, then he could win. However, if Kenshiro finds an opening and gets in close, Hokuto Shinken could prove itself invincible once again.

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